Ground Warfare

German Armed Forces Procuring 30mm Ammunition for Puma Infantry Fighting Vehicle

73
×

German Armed Forces Procuring 30mm Ammunition for Puma Infantry Fighting Vehicle

Share this article
German Armed Forces Procuring 30mm Ammunition for Puma Infantry Fighting Vehicle
German Armed Forces Procuring 30mm Ammunition for Puma Infantry Fighting Vehicle

The German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) has contracted with Rheinmetall to produce and supply medium-calibre ammunition for the Puma infantry fighting vehicle. A call-off from an existing framework agreement, the order encompasses several hundred thousand rounds of 30mm x 173 DM21 service ammunition. The order is worth over €350 million, including value added tax. Once perfect functionality has been demonstrated, delivery will begin this year and continue through to 2027. On 30 November 2022 the budget committee of the German Parliament approved a bill for the large-scale procurement of 30mm medium-calibre ammunition. Awarded back in December 2022, the framework contract for the supply of medium-calibre ammunition for the Puma infantry fighting vehicle worth up to €576 million. Follow-up call-offs are therefore expected. A first call-off of DM21 automatic cannon ammunition under the existing framework contract was already issued in late 2022. Furthermore, a call-off for 2023 followed in mid-2023.

30 mm Air Burst Munitions)
Rheinmetall KETF DM21 (airburst) 30mm x 173 cal. ammunition

The Puma is a German infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) designed to replace the aging Marder IFVs currently in service with the German Army. The companies responsible for this project are Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall Landsysteme, which created a joint venture, Projekt System Management GmbH (PSM). Rheinmetall is a vital supplier of ammunition for the Bundeswehr’s Puma infantry fighting vehicles. The primary armament is a Rheinmetall 30 mm MK 30-2/ABM autocannon. To combat main battle tanks, helicopters, and infrastructure targets such as bunkers, the German Puma vehicles will be equipped with a turret-mounted EuroSpike Spike LR missile launcher, which carries two missiles. Keeping the weight within the 35-ton limit also led to a smaller calibre for the secondary armament, a coaxially mounted 5.56 mm HK MG4 machine gun firing at 850 rounds per minute and with an effective range of 1,000 m. The Puma is one of the world’s best-protected IFVs, while still having a high power-to-weight ratio.

MK 30-2/ABM muzzle with a measurement and programming component.
Rheinmetall MK 30-2/ABM muzzle with a measurement and programming component.

The Puma infantry fighting vehicle is armed with a Rheinmetall MK30-2/ABM, specifically designed to fire airburst ammunition. The MK 30 was developed by Mauser as vehicle armament and for the anti-aircraft role. The design is also known as the Model F, although the MK 30 designation is more common nowadays.The MK 30 is a gas operated autocannon. It fires the 30x173mm round and has a double feed mechanism. It is used as vehicle armament, used in naval mounts and in towed anti-aircraft guns. The MK 30-2/ABM is a latest variant of the MK 30-2 with fuse setting mechanism for use with air burst ammunition. Combining a high rate of fire with cutting-edge ammunition technology, the MK30-2/ABM is an uncompromisingly excellent, extremely reliable weapon system, perfect for engaging ground, air and maritime targets.

30mm x 173 cal. ammunition
Rheinmetall KETF DM21 (airburst) 30mm x 173 cal. ammunition

Rheinmetall produces and supplies two main types of 30mm x 173 service ammunition: the KETF DM21 (airburst) and the KE DM33 (armour-piercing) as well as the DM58 practice round. Developed and qualified in line with the latest standards, they are unrivalled worldwide in terms of reliability, lethality, penetrating power and precision. Extremely reliable programming of the KETF DM21 – the abbreviation stands for Kinetic Energy Time Fuse – enables the Puma to engage larger soft targets and semi-hard area targets. The KE DM33 belongs to the new generation of subcalibre Armour Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot – Tracer (APFSDS-T) ammunition. Its penetrator punches through modern armour even at remarkably small angles of impact and at long engagement ranges. Thanks to these two types of service ammunition, the Puma can successfully take on a wide spectrum of armoured, semi-hard, soft point and area targets.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *